Image: 230 mm x 153 mm
Museum Purchase, 1967.0074 View full recordWhat to Look for:
Woodcut is achieved by carving into a block of wood (generally a plank of wood, as opposed to an end-grain block). The tools used include knives, chisels, and gouges. Some artists have used these tools so as to disguise the natural marks that knives and gouges make in an attempt to emulate the lines of engravings or of pen and ink drawings. Beckmann, like many expressionist artists, preferred to let the tools leave their natural marks. Since woodcut is a relief process the tools that cut into the block define the white or non-printed areas. The areas left un-cut remain at their original height and receive the ink, somewhat like a rubber stamp. Almost anywhere you click on this image you will find evidence of Beckmann's use of gouges (note the rounded scoop-like marks that define white passages in the hair and lapels, for example). You will also notice that many lines have been cut off at an angle, probably with a knife.